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Post ERCP Excruciating Attacks
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Post ERCP Excruciating Attacks

In 2006, I had an ERCP done for a mildly enlarged bile duct.  The physician opened the duct (cut) and informed me that he found nothing; no cancer, no stones. Within 2 hours after the surgery I was admitted to the ER for severe pancreatititis. I was kept in the hospital for almost one month due to the severity of the pancreas as well as developing an inflamed gallbladder.  The gallbladder was removed about 25 days post ERCP.  After discharge, the stomach pain took at least three months to subside.  After six months I developed debilitating attacks in my right side.   They come about 20-30 minutes after eating a meal.  They start out with a contraction in the right side in the same area as the surgery.  The pain is so severe I have to hold onto something so I do not pass out.  The pain passes in about 3-5 minutes and then I am left with a deep pain in my right side.  It continues to hurt for a few weeks after and then it calms down.  During the attack I am fully drenched with perspiration.  My hands and body are shaking from the attack.  I have these without warning....always after eating..I have had to call the paramedics on two occasions.  I have had some studies re:  Upper GI; digestion studies.  At the time I am having these studies, I am not having an attack.  I am sure that is why they do not show anything.  My primary care physician stated that he thought it could be the Sphincter of Oddi but when mentioning that to the gastroenterologist, he did not think so.  He pointed to possible scar tissue.  He suggested another ERCP.  I am not sure what caused the severe pancreatitis after the ERCP but when asking the gastroenterologist about that, he stated he did not know but it could have been the dye.  Since I almost died as a direct result of the ERCP, how could I do that ever again?  I just had an attack this week and am in pain on my right side.  I have had about 8 attacks to date. I know there is something wrong but I am not sure what to do or where to go next?  Do I go back to the surgeon that did the gallbladder removal or do I go back to the gastroenterologist to start more testing?  Is a laparoscopy safer (in my case) than the ERCP.  I believe it was the cutting of the duct in addition to the dye that caused the problem.  I appreciate any reply or direction as I am at my wits end and know this is no way to live.  I did have an attack in my car and thought I was going to go off the road.  I was able to pull off the road until the attack was over.  They happen when you least expect them.

This discussion is related to Is it possible to have gallstones after having the gallbladder removed?.
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Hi Terri!

I am sorry for your pains and problems. I have Chronic Pancreatitis and Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, both...and I have suffered those same pains you reported.

If the endoscopist cut the duct area, that is usually call a sphinterotomy...and it is the Sphincter that is cut. This is usually done when there is a problem with the sphincter dysfunctioning. Of course, I am not a trained physician, and I was n't there, so it is best to ask the endoscopist who did the cutting exactly what was cut and why.

The safest dianostic tool would be an MRCP...very similar to the ERCP, but it is done with the MRI, not a tube down the throat. If the doctor suspects SOD (Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction), then (s)he might want to do an ERCP in order to test the pressure in the Sphincter (manometry).

Please email me so that I can share more with you.


You can also drop by my site...I have dones of information in my digestive diseases library!

God bless and stay well,

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